Cinema Perfecto Magazine - Issue 1

10/10's - Ten Lists of Ten Tips for Digital Filmakers & Professional Videographers

Guerrilla Marketing: 10 Shocking Ways to Promote Your Film
By Amy Katz

A band of flesh-eating zombies stumbles down the street. The entrance of the subway looks like a giant butt. You go into a restaurant restroom to wash your hands, and red blood gushes out of the soap dispenser, which has the name of a popular mystery game printed on it.

This is guerilla marketing in a nutshell. When done well, it is effective and unforgettable. It is used to promote products, projects and people, and to get others to promote them for you. Big studios can afford to spend millions to advertise a single film, but you can't. So here are 10 ways to creatively market your film on a shoestring budget:

1. Make a scene. Filmmakers dress like Star Wars characters on a city street to get attention for a documentary about science fiction fanatics. Pole dancers climb up street lamps on a busy street corner to promote a TV show about the exotic arts.

2. Create psychosis. The Blair Witch Project is perhaps the most successful film in history to use what is also called the "Vulcan technique." The campaign began with an 8-minute trailer posted online that fooled even seasoned professionals into thinking three filmmakers had disappeared in the eastern woods, possibly at the hands of a witch.

3. Prepare preposterous posters. Driving through L.A. with her young son, my sister was horrified to see a skyscraper-sized poster of a serial killer holding a knife and a smiling baby; she even called City Hall to ask them to take it down. GM may turn some people off, but how many gawkers' curiosity was so assaulted, they tuned in (to "Dexter")?

4. Bare your breasts (or your tattoos, silly hat, etc.) Although public nudity is eye-catching, it could land you in jail. So get even more creative: if your film is premiering in Chicago in the winter, ear warmers sporting your film's logo could be the hottest promotional item in town.

5. Master social networking. If your film doesn't have a Facebook page, Twitter account, website and interactive blog with links to scores of other sites, it doesn't exist.

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